AUR#818 Feb 19 Silence Of America, VOA & RFE/RL Budget Cuts; World Bank Speaks; Capital Outflow; Grain; Regions Controls Crimea; Amb To Canada Speech

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ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR           
                 An International Newsletter, The Latest, Up-To-Date
                     In-Depth Ukrainian News, Analysis and Commentary

                      Ukrainian History, Culture, Arts, Business, Religion,
         Sports, Government, and Politics, in Ukraine and Around the World       

 
                               SILENCE OF AMERICA
         Now, with Russian President Vladimir Putin bullying his neighbors,
         manipulating the Russian media and throwing increasingly audacious
         anti-American tantrums, one would think U.S. policymakers would
         have the sense at least to maintain relatively modest VOA [& RFE/RL]
         operations in and around the Russian Federation [including Ukraine].
                                           (Articles One to Three)
                        
ACTION UKRAINE REPORT – AUR – Number 818
Mr. E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor, SigmaBleyzer
WASHINGTON, D.C., MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2007

              –——-  INDEX OF ARTICLES  ——–
            Clicking on the title of any article takes you directly to the article.               
   Return to the Index by clicking on Return to Index at the end of each article
1.                                     SILENCE OF AMERICA
                 Cutting the VOA’s presence in Mr. Putin’s neighborhood
EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Friday, February 16, 2007; Page A22

2.      U.S. BROADCASTING BUDGET PROPOSES REDUCTIONS

                RADIO FREE  EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY (RFE/RL)
Broadcasting Board of Governors
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 05, 2007

3.           LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: “SILENCE OF AMERICA”

               Cutting the VOA’s Presence in Mr. Putin’s Neighborhood
LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From Ken Bossong
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007

4WORLD BANK SAYS UKRAINE MUST CREATE A FAVORABLE
     BUSINESS CLIMATE, CARRY OUT REFORMS IN THE PUBLIC
            SECTOR AND ENSURE THAT THE POPULATION CAN
                   ENJOY THE FRUITS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH
INTERVIEW: With Shigeo Katsu, Vice-President,
Europe and Central Asia Region, World Bank
By Vitalii Kniazhansky, The Day Weekly Digest #5
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 13, 2007

5.   CAPITAL OUTFLOW POSES ONE OF BIGGEST THREATS TO
     UKRAINE’S NATIONAL SECURITY, PRES YUSCHENKO SAYS
Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007

6.   UKRAINE: BIG BUSINESS DOESN’T NEED FREE ECONOMIC

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, February 15, 2007

7. UKRAINIAN AGRARIAN CONFEDERATION WELCOMES INCREASE
     IN EXPORT QUOTAS FOR GRAIN STORED IN PORT ELEVATORS
Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation (UAC) website, in Ukrainian
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, February 15, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 7, in English
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 19, 2007

8. UKRAINE TO RESUME GRAIN EXPORT BY END OF FEBRUARY
Korrespondent online (in Russian), Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb 16, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 8, in English
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007

9.     RUSSIAN GRAIN ASSOCIATION VIEWS INTRODUCTION

                OF GRAIN QUOTAS IN UKRAINE NEGATIVELY 
Viktoria Miroshnychenko, Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, February 15, 2007

10.    POLISH MEAT EXPORTERS TO UKRAINE TO QUICKLY

 REGAIN MARKET SHARE, BUT CUSTOM DUTY STILL BARRIER
Interfax Central Europe, Warsaw, Poland, Fri, February 16, 2007

11.   ROMANIA: DIALOGUE WITH UKRAINE OVER DISPUTED
                      SERPENTS ISLAND IN THE BLACK SEA
New Europe, Athens, Greece, Wed, February 14, 2007

12.       UKRAINE: TREATY ON RUSSIA’S BLACK SEA FLEET
                               EXPIRES IN 10 YEARS BUT…….
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Obolonsky
The Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 19, 2007

13.                 UKRAINE: THIEF IN NATURE’S TEMPLE
    Air pollution rose in 21 regions in 2006, 70% of water surface polluted
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vatilii Kniazhansky
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, February 13, 2007

14. U.S. ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE SPECIALISTS TO EXPLAIN PLANS

              SERIOUS POLITICAL ISSUES IN EASTERN EUROPE 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1006 gmt 16 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, February 16, 2007

16.   UKRAINIAN INFLUENTIAL MP THREATENS TO SUE FOR
  LIBEL IS BOOK “DONETSK MAFIA” IS PUBLISHED IN EUROPE
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 16 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, Friday, February 16, 2007

17UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER TYMOSHENKO AIMS TO
        FORM RULING COALITION WITH PRESIDENT’S PARTY 
TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, Ukraine,in Ukrainian 1900 gmt 17 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, February 17, 2007

18TYMOSHENKO AGAINST MEDIATOR’S PARTICIPATION IN
SUPPLYING GAS TO UKRAINE, NO ITERA, NO ROSUKRENERGO
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007

19.          UKRAINE: KRUTY-2 ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
                                   Our post-genocidal society
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Kramarenko
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, February 13, 2007

20DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE OF
   1932-1933 (HOLODOMOR) NOW AVAILABLE IN DVD FORMAT
Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 20
Washington, D.C. Monday, February 19, 2007

 
21.       WHAT THE VERHOVNA RADA ACTUALLY PASSED
    1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine is genocide of the Ukrainian people.
Maidan.org.ua (in Ukrainian), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 21 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007
 
22. UKRAINE: “ON THE CROSSROADS OF CULTURES, INTERESTS
   AND INFLUENCES” – PARTY OF REGIONS DOMINATES CRIMEA
ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Khomenko
Holos Ukrayiny daily, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 14 Feb 07, p 3
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wednesday, February 14, 2007
 
23.          UKRAINE’S FOREIGN POLICY AT THE BEGINNING
                                     OF THE 21ST CENTURY
ADDRESS: By H.E. Dr. Ihor Ostash
Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Published by e-POSHTA, Politics and Business Edition
Vol. 8, No. 12, Canada, Sunday, February 18, 2007
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1
                        SILENCE OF AMERICA
                Cutting the VOA’s presence in Mr. Putin’s neighborhood

EDITORIAL: The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., Friday, February 16, 2007; Page A22

FOR DECADES, the Voice of America and its sister broadcasting
organizations offered a remarkably balanced alternative to state-controlled
media all over the world, buoying dissident movements and undermining
anti-American dictatorships for a relatively small investment.

Soviet citizens even learned how to reconfigure their radios to break
through the jamming signals their government used to interrupt VOA and
British Broadcasting Corp. programming.

Now, with Russian President Vladimir Putin bullying his neighbors,
manipulating the Russian media and throwing increasingly audacious
anti-American tantrums, one would think U.S. policymakers would have

the sense at least to maintain relatively modest VOA operations in and
around the Russian Federation.

Yet President Bush’s recently released 2008 budget proposal does just the
opposite, cutting VOA programming for a range of post-Soviet states to
finance programming expansion in other areas of the world
.

The White House’s proposed reprioritization of VOA broadcasting moves
money out of operations aimed at the large and largely Muslim country of
Uzbekistan. Broadcasting into neighboring Kazakhstan is also being cut.

The citizens of both countries live under illiberal regimes, and
Uzbekistan’s brutal dictatorship is of the sort that incubates religious
fundamentalism and anti-Americanism.

Voice of America’s half-hour of radio and half-hour of television
programming in Uzbek, says a VOA staff member, provide about the only
direct contact Uzbeks have with the United States and the only unvarnished
news in the region. Meanwhile, the highly controlled Russian media beam
their often misleading programming in with ease.

Mr. Bush’s budget also proposes reductions in Ukrainian-language VOA
programming to serve a country struggling to Westernize in the shadow
of Mr. Putin’s increasingly lawless regime.

Mr. Bush should be eager to encourage democratic forces in Ukraine, as
well as in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, not further limit their sources of
information about the United States.

The price of such programs is so low that federal financial constraints
are hardly an excuse to kill them; a relatively tiny increase in the VOA’s
budget would make a world of difference.                  -30-
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/15/AR2007021501583.html

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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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2.   U.S. BROADCASTING BUDGET PROPOSES REDUCTIONS
         FOR UKRAINIAN BROADCASTS BY BOTH VOA AND
            RADIO FREE  EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY (RFE/RL)

Broadcasting Board of Governors
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 05, 2007

WASHINGTON – The proposed fiscal year 2008 budget for U.S.
international broadcasting calls for an overall increase of 3.8% from
the anticipated fiscal year 2007 level that strengthens targeted
programming to provide essential access to news and information to
critical audiences.

The budget proposal is also aimed at increasing overall audience reach
around the world by utilizing the latest technology and strengthening
transmission capability.

Of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ (BBG) $668.2 million request,
$142.4 million is allocated for programming to the Near East, South, Central
Asia and Eurasia, $116 million for Arabic language programming, $67.2
million for East Asia, $45 million for Latin America and $13.6 million for
Africa.

The proposal includes enhancements the agency believes are pivotal to
promoting freedom and democracy and enhancing understanding in key
regions. They include:

[1] Establishing a 10-hour coordinated stream of Voice of America (VOA)
and Radio Free Asia (RFA) daily programming to North Korea.
[2] Launching a daily three-hour live Alhurra television program produced
and broadcast from the Middle East.
[3] Continuing VOA’s Somali Service’s 30 minute daily radio broadcast
scheduled to launch February 12, 2007, to the millions of Somali speakers

in Somalia, Djibouti and the greater Horn of Africa.
[4] Improving Radio and TV Martí’s reach into Cuba through additional
transmission capability and enhancing the production of the programming.
VOA programming to Cuba would be increased to 7 days a week.

The budget also fully funds initiatives begun in FY 2006 to critical Muslim
audiences. These include the expansion of VOA television to Iran to a 12
hour stream, VOA Pashto radio programming to the Afghanistan/Pakistan

border region, television programs to Afghanistan and Pakistan and Alhurra
Europe, the 24/7 service to Arabic speakers in Europe.

To fund these initiatives and mandatory cost increases, the request proposes
the following savings: elimination of VOA and RFA broadcasts in Cantonese
as well as VOA Uzbek.

Reductions to the following:
[1] Ukrainian broadcasts by both VOA and Radio Free

      Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL);
[2] Tibetan broadcasts by VOA and RFA;
[3] VOA Portuguese to Africa; and
[4] broadcasts in Romanian, South Slavic and Kazakh by RFE/RL.

Other savings will come from reductions in support services.

The FY 2008 request also includes several enhancements and reductions
requested in FY 2007. These include funds to increase Alhurra’s live news
capacity to 24 hours a day; expansion of VOA Spanish language programming
to Venezuela; additional transmission capabilities for RFE/RL Russian and
RFA Korean broadcasts and increased funding for employee training and
award programs.

Proposed reductions for FY 2007 included in the FY 2008 request include
eliminating VOA broadcasts in Croatian, Greek, Georgian and Thai as well
as RFE/RL broadcasts in Macedonian.

The request includes eliminating VOA radio broadcasts but continuing
television programming in the following languages: Serbian, Albanian,
Bosnian, Macedonian, Hindi and Russian.

The proposal also calls for discontinuing 14 hours a day of VOA NewsNow
English broadcasts while maintaining VOA’s English to Africa and Special
English services and continuing to strengthen VOA English on the Internet.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency which
supervises all U.S. government-supported, non-military international
broadcasting, including The Voice of America (VOA); Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty (RFE/RL); the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and
Radio Sawa); Radio Free Asia (RFA); and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting
(Radio and TV Martí).

Through its broadcast services, the BBG provides the United States and its
leaders direct and immediate access to a worldwide audience of 140 million
people. Current governors are Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Joaquin F.
Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Edward E. Kaufman,
Steven J. Simmons, and Mark McKinnon. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice serves as an ex officio member.                     -30-
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http://www.bbg.gov/_bbg_news.cfm?articleID=142&mode=general
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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3.  LETTER-TO-THE EDITOR: “SILENCE OF AMERICA”
              Cutting the VOA’s Presence in Mr. Putin’s Neighborhood
 

LETTER-TO-THE-EDITOR: From Ken Bossong
To: The Washington Post, letters@washpost.com
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 3
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007
February 16, 2007
Letters-to-the-Editor: Washington Post
1150 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071

RE: Editorial – “Silence of America: Cutting the VOA’s Presence in Mr.
Putin’s Neighborhood” The Washington Post (Feb 16, 2007)

Dear Sir/Madam:

As a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who served in Ukraine, I can
personally attest to how penny-wise but pound-foolish is the White House
proposal to slash funding for Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts in that
country and other former Soviet bloc nations.

VOA and affiliated U.S.-sponsored programs are not only regularly listened
to by very large audiences but also provide one of the most cost-effective
and positive image-building strategies for the United States and American
ideals.

For Ukraine, where VOA broadcasts are playing an important role in helping
democracy to slowly take root, cutting the agency’s budget might save a
few dollars in the short term, but the longer-term adverse political
cost
would be vastly greater.

Sincerely, Ken Bossong
U.S. Peace Corps volunteer – Ukraine (2000-2003), Takoma Park, MD
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[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]

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4. WORLD BANK SAYS UKRAINE MUST CREATE A FAVORABLE
     BUSINESS CLIMATE, CARRY OUT REFORMS IN THE PUBLIC
           SECTOR AND ENSURE THAT THE POPULATION CAN
                 ENJOY THE FRUITS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

INTERVIEW: With Shigeo Katsu, Vice-President,
Europe and Central Asia Region, World Bank
By Vitalii Kniazhansky, The Day Weekly Digest #5
Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My meeting with Shigeo Katsu, the vice-president for the Europe and Central
Asia Region of the World Bank, took place on Feb. 6 when the World Bank
Mission opened a new office in Kyiv.

Katsu pursued his graduate studies at the University of Tokyo and obtained

a diploma in International Economics and International Relations from the
Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

He speaks fluent Japanese, English, French, and German and has a working
knowledge of Chinese and Russian. He has worked at the World Bank for 27
years and is a noted expert on international economic relations.

The first topic of my conversation with Shigeo Katsu was photography,
because on his desk was a calendar of prize-winning photographs from The
Day’s 8th international competition, published by the World Bank in
collaboration with our newspaper.

“We do these kinds of things in Washington, in our Europe region, and in
Central Asia,” he said and offered to exchange photos. Needless to say,
The Day gratefully agreed.

[The Day] Does the grand opening of the new office of the World Bank’s
Mission signify a new stage in its relations with Ukraine?

Sh.K.: Thanks for putting your question so nicely. It is a very timely
question because the opening of the new office coincides with my colleagues
launching consultations here in Kyiv with your government and civil society
in regard to a new strategy for Ukraine’s partnership with the World Bank
Group for the next three to four years.

Of course, this new partnership strategy will be planned in an environment
that will be considerably different from the previous one.

[The Day] As I understand, you had an important international conference

in Kyiv today. What decisions were passed?

Sh.K.: It was an internal meeting of the World Bank’s Europe and Central
Asia regional team. We discussed matters relating to business planning. It
was interesting and informative because Ukraine is a medium-level profit
country that is actively evolving and quickly moving forward.

We discussed ways to improve cooperation between the World Bank Group
and Ukraine. Our conclusions are largely rooted in the assumption that the
new partnership strategy will be carried out in a new environment here.

[The Day] Before discussing the new strategy of relations between the
World Bank and Ukraine, I would like to hear your views on the previous
stage. Was everything in order or was something preventing projects from
being implemented?

                        SUPPORTING FOUR KEY SPHERES
Sh.K.: Our partnership strategy with Ukraine, which is still in effect, was
mostly aimed at supporting four key spheres:

     [1] economic growth and competitiveness;
     [2] matters relating to state administration and its transparency;
     [3] social protection and social security of the population; and
     [4] stable progress in the sphere of environmental protection.

Speaking of the results, greater progress has been made in the first two
spheres; in the other two, work is still underway.

As for the instruments of cooperation, my impression is that everyone in
Kyiv knows that there is an instrument known as the development strategy
loan.

It has been introduced and carried out rather effectively. In terms of
investment loans, better work has been done in the sphere of infrastructure.

In the sphere of human resources – matters relating to education and health
care – the implementation process has turned out a bit slower. We have very
successful experience in the sphere of state administration, particularly in
modernizing the State Treasury of Ukraine.

[The Day] There were no obstacles and everything was proceeding normally?

Sh.K.: As you know, a number of important political events have taken place
in Ukraine. I mean the elections and instability, in the sense that we had
to wait for the government to be formed, and so on.

But work continued on the practical level, also, as I mentioned earlier, in
the course of implementing a number of joint investment projects, for
example, in the sphere of health care, education, and agricultural
development. Of course, this process proved to be slower.

[The Day] How does the new partnership strategy differ from the previous
project whose term is ending? What other new opportunities for
collaboration with the World Bank will open up for Ukraine?

Sh.K.: As I said before, we are at quite an early stage of preparing a new
partnership strategy with Ukraine. Our consultations are just starting, so
it may be too early to discuss this aspect, although I do, of course, have
my own views.

I think that it will be more important for your readers to know about our
joint perspective on what has changed in Ukraine.

ECONOMIC GROWTH DESPITE POLITICAL INSTABILITY
The World Bank Group is well aware of the fact that Ukraine has shown
quick economic growth despite political instability. Your economy has
been developing very well, and we can see that the private sector has been
restructured.

We believe that the Ukrainian economy is quite strong. We assume that its
growth in the next four or five years will be significant, even if not at
such a quick pace as before, because for some time it will largely depend

on the long-term trend in the international situation.

How long will the world market maintain such low interest rates? Will there
be as much spare cash as now? In principle, Ukraine has good prospects.

If you want to know whether Ukraine will be able to maintain this growth
rate without continuing reforms, we think this will be very difficult to
accomplish. In this sense Ukraine is no exception to the rule. Many
countries in a similar situation are facing these kinds of problems.

                    UKRAINE MUST, IN OUR OPINION….
In order to maintain this growth rate, increase its competitiveness in the
world, draw closer to the more advanced countries, and increase its per
capita income, Ukraine must, in our opinion,

     [1] create a favorable business climate,
     [2] carry out reforms in the public sector, and
     [3] ensure that the population can enjoy the fruits of economic growth.

All this is impossible without further reform. As for competitiveness, it
certainly requires progress in innovative policies, particularly in the
investment sphere, so that the problem of developing new technologies is
resolved.

A favorable environment should be created by upgrading corporate
management. Of course, these aspects are very important.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the public sector, Ukraine must on
the one hand set about creating the so-called fiscal space, without which it
is impossible to double government investments in the sector of
infrastructure.

This sector suffered the worst from the recessive transition period of the
1990s, when there were no investments made in infrastructure.

Ukraine’s location between the European Union and Russia makes it a
bridge of sorts, a sphere of transportation logistics, a transportation
corridor for an open economy from the standpoint of both infrastructure,
software, and assistance to trade.

Enhancing competitiveness, of course, requires larger investments in the
private sector, although government investments must continue. Actually
this is why that fiscal space has to be built.
  TANGIBLE IMPROVEMENT OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES
         AND QUALITY OF LOCAL ADMINISTRATION
There are two other spheres that we talked about today. They are becoming
increasing priorities. The first one is a tangible improvement of municipal
services in the regions, and, of course, the quality of local
administration, which is of great importance.

Another serious sphere that I am constantly hearing about is energy
efficiency, in other words, energy saving that will also be a very important
aspect for the next couple of years, especially in view of rising gas
prices.

We will discuss all this with the Ukrainian leadership. Mr. Birmingham will
coordinate the process of creating a new partnership strategy with Ukraine.

[The Day] So the World Bank will be channeling investments into precisely
these spheres?

Sh.K.: We will consult with the government in regard to all these issues
because we want to know their opinion and to determine where, in your
government’s opinion, we should be active, in which particular sphere.

To do so we have a number of existing instruments: on the one hand,
loans for concrete projects, but we can also do analytical reports, help
with institutional progress, and provide technological assistance.

Here we are not necessarily talking big loans. I would also like to point
out the role being played by our colleagues, our partners from the
International Finance Corporation; unlike us, they handle the private
sector.

[The Day] Enhancing Ukraine’s competitiveness on the world market takes
high-tech projects and scientifically intensive products.

During your previous meetings with Ukrainian officials, did you get the
sense that they want to move in this direction? Perhaps Mr. Birmingham
will have more to say on this subject?

Sh.K.: Paul can certainly give better answers to questions relating to
discussions with your government. As for the crux of your question, I can
say that many countries are seeking investments in the high-tech sphere.

But in our opinion, this is work in the private sector, whereas the role of
government consists of improving the business environment so as to
attract investments to this sphere.

In other words, the point in question is a high-tech policy and creation of
science and technology parks. This is much better than direct government
investments in these sectors of the economy. It is necessary to create a
business environment that can be attractive and helpful.

Here we are interested in measures aimed at developing an investment
strategy to enhance human potential, education, and the real connection
between these factors and economic activities. This may have a number of
aspects, including the use of both start-up and venture capital.

A great deal of such experience has been accumulated elsewhere in the world,
particularly in the United States. Now I think Paul can add to my answer.

Birmingham: I think that Mr. Katsu has given you a rather exhaustive answer.
Of course, we will continue discussions with the Ukrainian government about
how this set of problems can evolve, but I think that he has sufficiently
covered this particular aspect.

[The Day] Can you absolutely trust our government to secure effective
cooperation, effective utilization, and of course, effective repayment of
the funds provided by the World Bank? What does your past experience
say?

Sh.K. (in Russian): Of course, we have confidence. Your government has
demonstrated its abilities. We have received very good results from the
introduction of projects in the sphere of infrastructure, although at the
beginning we probably had to make some corrections. But it was a
mutually educational process.

As for the other sectors I have mentioned and in which we faced some
challenges, human resources sectors, we must first ask ourselves: ‘Was our
communication with the government really effective? Did we succeed in
making our partners understand our objectives and tasks?

Did the design of our projects reflect the restrictions being imposed on the
government? Did this design correctly reflect what our partners in
government wanted to do?’

We must carefully study these questions and work on them, so that the
government can feel that these projects are primarily Ukrainian ones.
Objectively speaking, there were certain procedural limitations.

It is also possible that some aspects of the processing of the World Bank’s
project will prove to be of long duration, so perhaps there is room for
simplifying these procedures.

Of course, we are also expecting some steps to be made by your
government, particularly in terms of government purchases, taxation,
and so on.

[The Day] Don’t you think it’s time Ukraine curbed its appetite for loans?

Sh.K.: Speaking of the public debt, it is a mere 16 percent of your GDP,
which is really a very low figure. It’s not a lot at all.

If viewed in the context of the future, we have already said, for example,
that there must be huge investments in the infrastructure, in other words,
some 40 billion dollars for the next ten years, or four billion a year. The
same applies to other spheres.

All told, this is twice the sums being invested. Let me say again that
Ukraine must create a fiscal space and enhance the effectiveness of budget
spending. Of course, a more reasonable approach to loans also makes
sense.

Here lowering tax rates can be of great help while expanding the assessment
basis and improving taxation discipline. This will bring more revenues, ease
the tax burden on business, and create a better business environment.

[The Day] Do you have any complaints about the Ukrainian banking sector
through which World Bank funds are provided to Ukraine?

Sh.K.: I don’t think there are any problems in terms of security and
reliability of World Bank funds passing through the Ukrainian banking
system. However, with your permission I will make a general comment on
the risks as we see them in the banking system.

We are all witness to a very quick increase in credits both for satisfying
the investment needs of businesses and household consumer needs.

We have seen a similar situation in other countries where a precipitous rise
in crediting creates a certain increased level of risks for the banking
system in general. The thing is that this happens in a situation when the
financial sector environment is not firmly established.

In other words, on the one hand we see serious progress at the National
Bank of Ukraine (in terms of banking supervision), but progress
notwithstanding, this work is still underway, it still has to be completed,
its potential has to be upgraded.

As for the judicial system and the possibility of quickly resolving
commercial matters, defending creditors in court, the situation remains
mainly unsatisfactory.

Credits are also quickly increasing against the backdrop of bank and
corporate management that is far from perfect, so this can and must be
improved. In other words, all this quick development is taking place while
the banking system is rather fragile.

[The Day] You have a meetings scheduled with Mr. Azarov. Will you ask
him when Ukraine is going to lift the grain export restrictions?

Sh.K.: Do you want me to ask this question? If so, I can broach the subject,
but I can’t answer it at the moment.

[The Day] Don’t you think that Ukraine depends too much on foreign market
demand? If so, what should it do to reduce this dependence and increase
domestic market demand?

Sh.K.: The thing is that Ukraine is becoming increasingly open in terms of
the economy; it is successfully going through the process of integrating
into the world economy.

Ukraine has been showing very good dynamics of progress since 2000, so
without this dynamic growth, including on foreign markets, Ukraine would
not be evolving so quickly.
         MUST SHARE FRUITS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH
Why stop using these capacities? However, the key, the main challenge for
Ukraine’s decision makers is the need to somehow share the fruits of this
quick economic growth with the broadest strata of the population.

The dividends from this growth for the whole population must be higher
profits and lower prices. This is something an open economy will provide
in the best way than if the country tried to protect itself behind closed
doors.

Of course, it is only natural for Ukraine to protect its positions and
national interests, but the system of international trade also offers an
opportunity for protecting one’s national interests.

You have just given more answers to the previous question than to this
one. (Laughter)                                    -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/177117/. Subheadings inserted

editorially by the Action Ukraine Report (AUR).
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5. CAPITAL OUTFLOW POSES ONE OF BIGGEST THREATS TO
    UKRAINE’S NATIONAL SECURITY, PRES YUSCHENKO SAYS

Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko says capital outflow poses

one of the biggest threats to the country’s national security.

“The scale of the capital outflow in the past 4 or 5 years from Ukraine
indicates that the phenomena is one of the basic threats to the national
security of Ukraine,” Yuschenko said at a meeting of the National Security
and Defense Council in Kyiv on Friday.

Although there are no official statistical data, it is said a colossal $12.9
billion left the economy between 2004 and 2006, with $13.2 billion in

direct foreign investment flowing into the country, Yuschenko said.

“We are proud of having this unique investment inflow, especially over the
past two years, but we must realize that the same sum was taken out of .
circulation [in Ukraine],” he said, according to the press service of the
president.

Given Ukraine’s $6.7 billion trade deficit, the tendency is particularly
dangerous, Yuschenko said. “We may soon be facing very serious

challenges, disrupting price and monetary stability,” he said.

The president said law enforcement agencies had been ineffective in
preventing capital outflow. He added that the government introduced no
reforms encouraging domestic investment.

“At this table, we must ask those in charge of improving the investment
climate why we have not yet created a comfortable business environment

and why the black economy is flourishing,” he said, slamming the State
Committee for Financial Monitoring for failing to prevent murky financial
transactions.

The Friday meeting of the National Security and Defense Council will also
address the issue of international military maneuvers in Ukraine in 2007. -30-
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6.  UKRAINE: BIG BUSINESS DOESN’T NEED FREE ECONOMIC
ZONES & PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT TERRITORIES: AKHMETOV
 
Interfax Ukraine Focus, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thu, February 15, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian billionaire and Regions Party MP Rinat Akhmetov says
Ukraine’s big businesses doesn’t need any special economic zones and
priority development territories.

“I am convinced that big business doesn’t need preferences. [Ukrainian] big
business has grown up, and is capable of competing as an equal player.

Big business is giving up preferences,” Akhmetov said at a meeting of the
Ukrainian parliament committee for economic policies in Donetsk on Thursday.

“We need an economically free country rather than the free economic zones,”
Akhmetov said.                                       -30-
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7. UKRAINIAN AGRARIAN CONFEDERATION WELCOMES INCREASE
   IN EXPORT QUOTAS FOR GRAIN STORED IN PORT ELEVATORS

Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation (UAC) website, in Ukrainian
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, February 15, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 7, in English
Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 19, 2007

KYIV – The Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation (UAC) has welcomed the

decision by the cabinet of ministers to impose higher export quotas for
grain stored in port elevators, saying it will help relieve the elevators of
grain.

The cabinet decision tallies with the UGC position on the issue which has
been repeatedly publicized in recent time.

In addition, the UGC views as absolutely logical further liberalization of
the quote-setting policy, including canceling quotas for the export of feed
grain.

Simultaneously, UAC leaders are convinced that such liberalization must be
accompanied by a number of other steps aimed at raising competitiveness

of Ukraine’s feed sector. Judging by the statistics on the sales of
cattle-breeding products, sales of live weight meat in 2006 fell by 20-25
percent.

It is clear that, given such conditions, domestic cattle breeding cannot
stay competitive, the more so that world grain prices are rather high.

Therefore, the UAC believes that it is necessary to implement a range of
measures to cut the contraband of meat, prevent underestimation of meat
customs value as well as to study the prospects of meat import via free
economic zones.

In this respect, UAC experts have stressed the importance of drawing up
steps in advance to raise the purchases of 2007 grain by the Agrarian Fund
and the State Reserve, creating conditions for the purchase by these state
organizations of adequate grain supplies in July-August and eventually
eliminating the issue of export quotas imposition.

For the record, the cabinet of ministers of Ukraine has increased grain
export quotas for the 2006/2007 marketing year.

According to the Ministry for Agrarian Policy press service, an appropriate
cabinet resolution #185 of Feb. 13, 2007 “On making changes in the cabinet
of ministers resolution of Dec. 8, 2006 #1701″ has been signed by Premier
Yanukovych.

Accordingly, the grain export quota valid till the end of 2006/2007 will be
increased to 864,000 tons, including 606,000 tons for barley, 30,000 tons
for maize, and 228,000 tons for wheat.

The resolution comes into force on publication. In addition, the MAP press
service notes that the ministry is currently drawing up a resolution
canceling export quotas for wheat, maize and barley.           -30-
——————————————————————————————–
 LINK: http://www.agroconf.org/uk/node/562
——————————————————————————————–

FOOTNOTE: This article translated from Ukrainian to English for the
exclusive use of the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr
Hrytsutenko, Lviv, Ukraine.
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8. UKRAINE TO RESUME GRAIN EXPORT BY END OF FEBRUARY

Korrespondent online (in Russian)
Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 8, in English
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007

KYIV – By late February, the first stage of the deliveries of grain from
port elevators to foreign clients will start, President of the Ukrainian
Grain Association, UGA, Volodymyr Klymenko said.

According to the official, no deliveries took place in January as grain
traders did not risk chartering vessels before they had licenses on their
hands.

Klymenko noted that in this way grain exporters are trying to avoid losses
for idle time of vessels in ports. The first deliveries will be started in
accordance with licenses to be issued in line with the cabinet resolution.

It takes a month to get a license, Klymenko noted. With the time needed to
charter a vessel it adds up to 30 to 45 days.

UGA president told that the losses of exporters due to idle time of vessels
in ports amount to $100 mn. In addition, he observed, 10,000 tons of grain
cannot be saved as it cannot be used even as fertilizer.

According to the UGA president, Ukraine can annually export 10.5 – 11 mn
tons of grain, including 4 mn tons of wheat, 5.5 mn tons of barley and 2 mn
tons of maize.

Ukrainian President Yushchenko has plans to discuss grain export and grain
pricing with Premier Yanukovych, Yushchenko said on Feb. 13 during his
meeting with Dave Rogers, Cargill Europe executive director and member of
the Consultative council for foreign investments in Ukraine.

According to Yushchenko, the government must look for an alternative way,

or wider options, to map out its grain pricing policy. Given this, grain
producers and traders will be able to operate at world prices, substantially
higher now than domestic grain prices.

The Ukrainian grain market is now regulated in the on-hands mode. For
instance, on Feb. 7 the cabinet raised barley export quotas by 600,000 tons,
maize quotas by 30,000 tons and milling wheat by 228,000 tons.

The situation on grain markets is now stable, claims the government. As full
amounts of grain have been purchased for the State Reserve and Agrarian
Fund, more possibilities for grain export have opened up.

Meanwhile, experts say that setting export quotas was an attempt by the
government to play safe in the wake of the 2003 grain crisis, head of VR
committee on agrarian policy and land relations, member of parliament

(BYuT) Mykhailo Hladij says.

In his opinion, quotas for grain export should not be set, as trade must be
regulated by market, not administrative, levers. Even if quotas are imposed,
their sizes must be known to traders one year in advance of their export
operations.

The current situation, with tens of thousands of tons of grain rottening in
Odesa port elevators, is nothing but the attempt of the government to
preempt grain shortages in Ukraine in spring, Hladij added.

The lawmaker also warned that the government will be faced with law suits
filed by commercial companies that had run into considerable losses due to
the export ban and rottening grain.

In 2003 the Yanukovych government allowed oversized grain export which

led to a deficit of grain on domestic markets. As the result, the government
was forced to buy grain abroad.                                -30-
————————————————————————————————
LINK: http://ua.korrespondent.net/main/66661/
————————————————————————————————
FOOTNOTE: This article translated from Russian to English for the
exclusive use of the Action Ukraine Report (AUR) by Volodymyr
Hrytsutenko, Lviv, Ukraine.
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9. RUSSIAN GRAIN ASSOCIATION VIEWS INTRODUCTION
           OF GRAIN QUOTAS IN UKRAINE NEGATIVELY 

Viktoria Miroshnychenko, Ukrainian News Agency
Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, February 15, 2007

KYIV – The Russian Grain Association negatively views the introduction

of grain export quotas in Ukraine. The association’s President Arkady
Zlochevsky announced this at a press conference. “Grain [traders] are not
welcoming Ukraine’s restriction on export of grain, although it favors us,”
he said.

According to him, Ukraine’s grain export quota favored Ukraine’s competitors
on the world grain market. According to him, Russia is competing with
Ukraine on the markets of barley while Kazakhstan is competing with it on
the market of wheat.

“We fear similar precedents for the Russian market. We oppose any type

of restrictions… the government should encourage, stimulate exports,” he
stressed.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Ukrainian Grain Association is
forecasting resumption of grain exports in late February 2007. The Cabinet
of Ministers has extended the grain export quota by 864,000 tons to
1,970,000 tons for the 2006/2007 marketing year (June 2006-June 2007).

In December 2006, the Cabinet of Ministers set a grain export quota of 1.106
million tons for the 2006/2007 marketing year, including 600,000 tons of
barley, 500,000 tons of corn, 3,000 tons of wheat, and 3,000 tons of rye.
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10.   POLISH MEAT EXPORTERS TO UKRAINE TO QUICKLY

 REGAIN MARKET SHARE, BUT CUSTOM DUTY STILL BARRIER

Interfax Central Europe, Warsaw, Poland, Fri, February 16, 2007

WARSAW – Polish exporters to Ukraine are expected to quickly regain

market share now that Ukraine has ended a ban on Polish meat, but high
custom duties will efficiently limit the potential of further development, the
Polish association of meat producer Polskie Mieso Chief Executive Officer
Witold Choinski told Interfax Friday.

“Recapturing the [Ukrainian] market will happen quickly -the first
transports will be sent next week,” Choinski said. “The potential of that
market is huge, although the high customs duty is a real obstacle. We will
address this issue through the Economy Ministry.”

Ukraine has authorized 23 Polish companies to restart their exports as of
February 15, following a year long meat ban that Kiev said was necessary to
protect the country from suspect Polish shipments. The move mirrored a

step undertaken by Russia on November 9, 2005.

Polish companies export their meat products chiefly to the EU countries.
Joint sales to the Russian and Ukrainian market accounted for less than

15% of total exports in 2004.                                  -30-
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11.     ROMANIA: DIALOGUE WITH UKRAINE OVER
     DISPUTED SERPENTS ISLAND IN THE BLACK SEA

New Europe, Athens, Greece, Wed, February 14, 2007

Romania urged Ukraine on February 9 not to artificially create a settlement
on the disputed Serpents Island in the Black Sea, according to a press
release from the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The release said that the attempts to artificially prove the appearance of
the capacity to support a settlement or an economic life of its own by the
Serpents Island, cannot have, according to the international law, legal
effects.

“These attempts cannot influence in any way the process of delimitation of
the continental shelf and of the exclusive economic areas of Romania and
Ukraine at the Black Sea, a case that has been judged since 2004 by the
International Court based in The Hague,” read the release.

Romania’s stand, related to the Ukrainian authorities; intention to
artificially create a settlement on Serpents Island, has been made public
and communicated to the Ukrainian side, every time when Ukraine made

known any other attempts aimed at artificially changing the status of this
rock, according to the release.

The Romanian side reiterated its position and hopes that the Ukrainian side
will show restraint, given the context and conditions of the procedures with
the International Court in The Hague.

Ukraine’s Supreme Rada (Parliament) decided in a plenary meeting on

February 8 to name the settlement on the island Belyi (White Village), with
the name to be put on the map and listed in the Registry of the Ukrainian
localities, according to a report of Ukrainian ProUa news agency.

The decision regarding the setting up of a settlement in Serpents Island was
taken on July 5, 2006, and by the Regional Council in Odessa. Officially,
Belyi locality is part of the Chilia district and will be coordinated by the
County Council of Vilkkovo.

The Serpents Island, covering 17 hectares and having no vegetation and
water, but which seems to have important resources of crude oil, is
currently inhabited by 155 people at the most, of which 50 militaries.

Against this background, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry says
Romania’s Embassy in Kiev monitors all aspects related to this issue and

the debates in the Ukrainian Parliament on February 8.

Romania notified in September 2004 the International Court of Justice to
delimitate the sea areas between the two countries.

On August 15, 2005, the Romanian side submitted to the International Court
of Justice a written statement with its stand and argumentation regarding
the delimitation solution that it considers fair and in line with the
international law.

The Ukrainian side submitted its written statement on May 16, 2006. This
January, Romanian and Ukrainian Presidents Traian Basescu and Viktor
Yushchenko said their countries will observe the decision of the
International Court in The Hague, irrespective of who wins in the issue of
delimiting the continental shelf of the Serpents Island and the exclusive
economic areas, it was reported.                    -30-

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12.      UKRAINE: TREATY ON RUSSIA’S BLACK SEA
                  FLEET EXPIRES IN 10 YEARS BUT…….

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Volodymyr Obolonsky
The Ukrainian Times, Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, February 19, 2007

Asked about the possibility of prolonging the presence of Russia’s Black

Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol after 2017, prime minister
Viktor Yanukovich replied that the government would always protect the
national interests.

Taking account of the statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin
that after 2017 Russia is ready to negotiate about the prolongation of fleet’s
presence in the Crimea, it is an easy guess what conclusions have been made
by Ukrainian jingoes: Yanukovich does not rule out this tantalizing
possibility.

Therefore, the hackneyed subject of a betrayal of the national interests,
loss of state sovereignty and satisfaction of Russia’s imperial ambitions
came up.

The problem has been hacked to death so that few people try to understand
why today Orange political forces raise hue and cry against the above
prolongation, whereas the treaty with Russia on the Black Sea fleet expires
in 10 years.

Consider the question: Does the presence of the Russian Navy in Sevastopol
impair the national interests of Ukraine? The answer seems to be that the
whole infrastructure of the region is connected with the Russia’s naval
base.

Demands for the early withdrawal of Russia’s Black Sea fleet could be
justified if the politicians proposed financing of the project of
Sevastopol’s development right after the withdrawal of the Russian Navy.

Nonetheless, blather about the crafty Kremlin has been in the air ever since
Ukraine achieved independence, and the Orange team does not give a hoot
about Sevastopol residents who may well be left to their fate.

Some politicians often moan that Russia underpays for a lease of the Crimean
land. Observers, including The Ukrainian Times, can think of no reason why
Ukrainian government officials should not begin talks about the issue and
set new terms of stationing of the Russia’s naval base.

The world now knows that Russia is ruled by pragmatists. It is to be wished
that the same will happen in Ukraine. Among other things, the government has
the authority to handle the Crimean land so that each Ukrainian can profit
by it, and thereby the Yanukovich team may protect the national interests.

It is perfectly natural that the nation lives under conditions of a
free-market economy and a foreign institution or company pays handsome

money into the national budget, not pockets of, say, Olexiy Ivchenko, leader
of a jingoist Ukrainian party and former chairman of the state gas company
Neftegaz Ukrainy, who bought a new model of Mercedes Benz for one
million hryvnias, misusing funds of the state-owned enterprise.

Why should a large investor be ousted, the more so as conflicts with the
next-door neighbor, namely Russia, are detrimental to the national interests
of Ukraine.                                           -30-
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13.            UKRAINE: THIEF IN NATURE’S TEMPLE
     Air pollution rose in 21 regions in 2006, 70% of water surface polluted

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Vatilii Kniazhansky
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, February 13, 2007

It is dangerous to pull the tail of such a generally docile animal as a
domestic cat. But playing cat and mouse with mighty nature and even
scattering all kinds of poisonous wastes on its supposedly hallowed
territory is considered quite a normal thing.

How did we get this way?

Perhaps we are influenced by the words of the classical theorist, who said
that nature is a workshop in which man is the chief (a poor one by all
accounts) or the words of a no less famous practical scientist, who
maintained that we should not wait for nature to show mercy – our task is

to harness it.

We did harness it. At a recent session of the Ministry of Environmental
Protection it was announced that air pollution rose in 21 regions of Ukraine
in 2006 and that 70 percent of our water surface is polluted.

ALL AREAS OF NATURE MANAGEMENT SHOW DETERIORATION
According to environmentalists, all sectors of nature management in Ukraine
show deterioration. Last year stationary sources alone accounted for about
4.5 million tons of air pollutants.

Uncontrolled toxic emissions have led not only to the contamination of
surface springs but also to the loss of large underground water reserves
that can no longer be used as sources of potable water.

This is also the result of a catastrophic accumulation of household and
industrial wastes. There are about 35 billion tons in Ukraine, occupying an
area of 130,000 hectares.

What is going on? Why did the ministry suddenly sound the alarm?

When the current presidential chief of staff, Baloha, was the environment
minister, he didn’t say a word.

But this is not a question of personalities but the fact that both the
ecology and the economy are upset in Ukraine. The economy behaves like
a robber and poisoner and does not deem it necessary to make up for the
damage done to nature.

One factor is the economic slump and closed or partially functioning
businesses. Over the past few years nature has managed to take a breather
after the Soviet Five-Year Plans and the pursuit of capitalism. We never
caught up with the latter but almost brought the environment down.

But as First Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Mykola Azarov announced
recently, Ukraine reached the 1990 level of industrial output in 2006 and is
going to achieve that year’s GDP by mid-2008. Now it is clear where gas
pollution, liquid, solid and other wastes, poisonous to nature and man, are
coming from.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection believes that the way out of this
situation is a new ecological strategy and concept of public administration,
which would take into account modern environmental requirements for
human activities and all industrial facilities, and become part of the main
state economic programs.

The idea is good, no doubt about it. The only question is how to put it
into practice.

Obviously, the importance of these strategies and concepts should be
reflected in the fundamental documents that guide the national economy,
like a yearly or longer-term program of socioeconomic development and
a budget based on the former.

Alas, while the budget has been adopted, the 2007 program is still in the
hands of the Parliamentary Committee for the Economy. By all accounts,
political brawls are more important than this “trifle.”

Nor is it clear what will happen to the long-term strategic program of
socioeconomic development now being mapped out by the cabinet for
the first time in the history of Ukraine.

Will it have chapters calling not just for papering over the cracks on the
tender body of nature but for undertaking serious efforts to protect it from
the encroachments of an unqualified and foolish master, who only thinks
about today?

Meanwhile, the central government continues to field queries from the
provinces. Even Kyiv’s problems with dumpsites that are about to discharge
their contents into nearby rivers pale in comparison.
   PLANT REPRESENTS DANGER TO HEALTH AND LIFE
For example, the potassium plant owned by the Oriana Company of Kalush –
a city already full of chemical businesses – represents a danger to human
health and life.

It is doing irreparable harm to the environment, causing ground depression
and salinity, as well as the formation of craters. There have already been
12 cave-ins, and the ground surface has been sagging at a rate of 100 mm a
year for the past three years.

In addition, the tailings dam is on the verge of ruin, while brines have
reached a dangerous mark of tens of millions of cubic meters. The
government must find the funds to patch this gaping hole.

The problem is that this country has not yet found a critical mass of
intelligent individuals (true nature keepers) who would focus on creating a
reliable environmental protection system.                       -30-
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LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/177127/
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14. U.S. ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE SPECIALISTS TO EXPLAIN PLANS

        FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ANTI-MISSILE BASES IN EUROPE
         SAYS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE WILLIAM TAYLOR

Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007

KYIV – The United States promises that a delegation comprising U.S.
anti-missile defense specialists will arrive in Ukraine to explain Ukrainian
people the plans concerning the construction of anti-missile bases in
Europe. Ukrainian News learned this from the press service of the Ukrainian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the press service, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor
announced this at a meeting with Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrii
Veselovskyi.

Taking into account the strategic character of the relations between the
Untied States and Ukraine, Taylor said, according to the press service, a
special technical group of specialists on the anti-missile defense will
arrive in Ukraine soon.

The U.S. Embassy intends to meet regularly on the issue with Ukrainian

media to give information concerning the construction of the anti-missile
defense bases in Europe.

Veselovskyi said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directed the Ukrainian
embassies in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Poland to obtain more
information on the anti-missile defense bases.

“Ukraine will be grounded on the belief that the administration of the
United States will continue informing Europeans on the plans, while
understanding that there is [negative] reactions to the deployment of the
elements of the anti-missile defense in Europe from some countries,
including Russia, and will openly and predictably implement the plans in

the case of their realization,” the statement reads.

Taylor and Veselovskyi also discuss the third meeting of the Ukraine-U.S.
interdepartmental coordination group, which is to take place in Washington
on February 23.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs said it was viewing the possible construction of elements of the
U.S. anti-missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic as element of the
war on terror. The United States said the anti-missile bases in Poland and
the Czech Republic were needed to protect Europe.          -30-
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15. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT’S AIDE SAYS U.S. MISSILE DEFENCE
          BASES WILL NOT PROTECT EUROPE, & WILL LEAD TO

              SERIOUS POLITICAL ISSUES IN EASTERN EUROPE 
UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 1006 gmt 16 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Friday, February 16, 2007

KIEV – The deployment of elements of the US missile defence system in

Poland and the Czech Republic will not manage to protect Europe from a
missile attack, the Ukrainian president’s aide, Volodymyr Horbulin, told a
news conference today.

“I think that this decision will not allow the USA to ensure the security of
its European allies in terms of defence from a missile attack, for instance
by Iran, Syria or other countries,” Horbulin said. He added that he rules
out the possibility of protection against an attack by North Korea.

The deployment of missile defence elements brings more political tension,

he said. “This will cause and has caused a political storm,” he said. In
particular, this could be seen in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech
in Germany, he added.

Horbulin said that Ukraine should develop a clear position regarding the
threats to its own security from the deployment of the missile defence
bases.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t see this as a big threat, but this could lead to
serious political issues in Eastern Europe, and this should be considered,”
Horbulin said.
  [Passage omitted: background on US missile defence bases]

[Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Veselovskyy said at a meeting with
the US ambassador that Ukrainian embassies in Russia, Poland and the Czech
Republic were instructed to receive additional information, UNIAN news
agency reports on 16 February. The creation of global defence systems should
not in any way provoke a new wave of the arms race, Veselovskyy said.]
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16.    UKRAINIAN INFLUENTIAL MP THREATENS TO SUE FOR
    LIBEL IS BOOK “DONETSK MAFIA” IS PUBLISHED IN EUROPE

UNIAN news agency, Kiev, in Ukrainian 16 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, Friday, February 16, 2007

DONETSK – Member of the Ukrainian Parliament (MP) Rinat Akhmetov

has said that “a very big group” of foreign lawyers is ready to react to the
publication of the book entitled “Donetsk Mafia” in Europe.

Akhmetov was speaking to journalists in Donetsk yesterday after a sitting of
the parliamentary Committee for Economic Policy there. “I want the book
‘Donetsk Mafia’ to be published in Europe.

You know, show me a country where this book is now. I would like this book
[to be published] maybe in England or other countries, where he (the book’s
author – UNIAN) can be made responsible for disseminating it. Legally!

Today I don’t have a legal opportunity to sue him in court and have him
brought to criminal responsibility,” Akhmetov said. Asked if the lawyers
working on this are Ukrainian or foreign, Akhmetov answered shortly:
“Foreign.” The book “Donetsk Mafia” was presented in parliament in March
2006.

The co-author of the book and head of the Antykoruptsiya [Anticorruption]
fund, Borys Penchuk, said that the book was based on documents from various
sources and it tells what and how was done in Donbass [coal mining area in
Donetsk and Luhansk regions] in the early years of Ukraine’s independence.
[Passage omitted: Penchuk’s accusations]

The prosecutor’s office of the Kiev Shevchenkivskyy district filed a
criminal case in late November 2006 based on the facts mentioned in the book
“Donetsk Mafia”                                -30-
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17. UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER TYMOSHENKO AIMS TO
        FORM RULING COALITION WITH PRESIDENT’S PARTY 

TV 5 Kanal, Kiev, Ukraine,in Ukrainian 1900 gmt 17 Feb 07
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Saturday, February 17, 2007

KIEV – Ukrainian opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko has said that her

bloc and the propresidential Our Ukraine bloc are trying to improve relations
with a view to forming a ruling coalition after a possible early
parliamentary election. Tymoshenko was speaking live on 5 Kanal television,
commenting on the topical events of the week.

“An early election will bring to parliament much less members of the Party
of Regions. Most likely, the Socialists and the Communists will not make it
to parliament. And I know for sure that our bloc will be there, represented
by a sufficiently large number and, most likely, the Our Ukraine bloc will
also make it.

If Our Ukraine made conclusions that they cannot build Ukraine with
Yanukovych – and I believe that Our Ukraine made these conclusions

because they supported a grand coalition but now reviewed their position.

I am sure that we are ready for Our Ukraine to join our team and will not
allow in the new parliament the mistakes which were made during the ruining
of the Orange team, during the nomination of [Our Ukraine MP] Petro
Poroshenko to the post of [parliament] speaker and the ruining of a
democratic coalition.

I think it is simply impossible to step on a rake for the third time. I
think that there is a good chance to leave [current Prime Minister Viktor]
Yanukovych in the marginal niche after an early election,” Tymoshenko said.

Speaking about the recent agreement on joint opposition work with Our
Ukraine, Tymoshenko expressed the hope that together they will manage to
fight Yanukovych much more effectively. “I think the parliamentary
opposition of 200 votes will be much stronger that 120 votes which we have
now.

I think 200 opposition deputies in parliament will not allow Yanukovych to
implement the programme he has in mind. I mean getting rich and practically
ruining this country’s independence,” she said.                -30-
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18.  TYMOSHENKO AGAINST MEDIATOR’S PARTICIPATION IN
SUPPLYING GAS TO UKRAINE,  NO ITERA, NO ROSUKRENERGO

 
Ukrainian News Agency, Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, February 16, 2007

KYIV – Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko argues against the
participation of mediators, including Itera gas-supplying company, in making
gas supplies to Ukraine. Tymoshenko told this to journalists in Cherkasy.

“As far as gas supplies to Ukraine are concerned, there should be no
mediators between Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine and Turkmenistan, Ukraine

and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. We need neither RosUkrEnergo nor Itera,”
she said.

Tymoshenko noted that it was necessary to conclude direct agreements

on gas supplies to Ukraine with the governments’ participation.

Earlier, Vice Premier Andrii Kliuev admitted a possibility of Itera’s return
to Ukraine as a natural gas supplier. As Ukrainian News earlier reported,

on February 12, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and chairman of
Itera’s board of directors Ihor Makarov discussed energy projects in
Ukraine.

Itera-Ukraine, a subsidiary of Itera Group, was the operator for supply of
Turkmen gas to Ukraine and member countries of the Commonwealth of
Independent States in 1996-2002.

Since 1998, Itera has been extracting gas in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets
Autonomous District. In 2005, Itera wanted to supply nearly 4 billion cubic
meters of natural gas to Ukraine.

Ukrainian companies of Itera Group (Itera Energy and Itera Ukraine) sell
natural gas extracted on the territory of Ukraine to companies that do not
belong to NJSC Naftohaz Ukrainy.

After Itera, Turkmen gas supplies to Ukraine were performed by Eural

Trans Gas, among co-founders of which was Dmytro Firtash, the owner
of 45% in RosUkrEnergo, the present exclusive gas supplier in Ukraine.
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19.   UKRAINE: KRUTY-2 ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
                                 Our post-genocidal society

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Oleksandr Kramarenko
The Day Weekly Digest, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, February 13, 2007

LUHANSK – Our post-genocidal society is by definition a community of
morally deformed people from all walks of life – from ordinary citizens to
government officials.

The vast majority of the former cannot imagine a life without bribes, while
the latter consider their high offices exclusively as a method of personal
enrichment. The root cause of these moral and ethical perversions lies in
the specific consequences of our national tragedy, the Holodomor.

Unlike the Holocaust and the Armenian Massacre, the 1932-1933 manmade
famine embraced the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian ethnos that
was not yet Russified by imperial urbanization.

The main distinction of the Holodomor from all other historical genocides is
that about one-half of its victims, who had experienced all the horrors and
sufferings of the famine, survived.

This was the basic aim of the Kremlin’s engineers of the Holodomor, who were
banking on those very peasants who had survived and, as a result of their
protracted torture by famine, completely lost their Christian morality and
national identity.
      HAD A VISCERAL FEAR OF STARVING TO DEATH
For the rest of their lives those people had a visceral fear of starving to
death. They also remembered well that the Bolshevik commissars had
exposed them to those infernal ordeals simply because of their probity, high
morality, and Ukrainian soul.

The commissars only strengthened their grip on power after the Holodomor.
This is why peasants brought up their children in such a way that they would
never again irk the government with their nationalism, inner freedom, and
honesty.

Naturally, when the children of the people who were maimed by the famine
were raising their own progeny, they had no alternatives.

Those children and grandchildren flooded into the cities during Soviet
industrialization and eventually became our contemporaries: academics,
journalists, artists, judges, politicians, parliamentarians, officials,
political scientists, and even presidents.

The society they have built in independent Ukraine is causing subdued mirth
in the rest of the civilized world, which does no credit to it because if it
were a highly moral world, it would be weeping bitter tears, looking at our
genocide-disfigured society.
    89TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF KRUTY
Ukraine recently marked the 89th anniversary of the battle of Kruty. Like
before, everything boiled down to extolling only the heroic feat of 300
young people.

Some of our hurrah-patriots went so far as to compare those youths with
the Three Hundred Spartans. Is this ignorance or eyewash?

The historical facts attest to something quite different, to put it mildly.
There was no battle of Kruty: there was a massacre of Ukrainian youths by
Russian sailors under the command of the Bolshevik Mikhail Muravev.

Most of those hapless boys died not during the combat action but afterwards,
when the Bolsheviks first tortured them in a way humiliating to their manly
pride and then shot them.

This fact by no means belittles the young Ukrainians’ exploit, but it is an
eyesore to our jingoists in power, who are very reluctant to tell our
demoralized society the names of those who are really to blame for the
Kruty tragedy because some of them are being turned into national heroes.

These are the Ukrainian National Republic’s socialist leaders Mykhailo
Hrushevsky and Volodymyr Vynnychenko, who disbanded the Ukrainian
Army in the naive belief that the Russian Bolsheviks would not be hostile
to the young “fraternal” republic.

There was also Pavlo Skoropadsky, who agreed to fight Bolshevism only
under the leadership of foreign armies. It is no accident that the
historical truth is being hushed up.

Today, the political descendants of Hrushevsky have in fact ruined the
Ukrainian Armed Forces without obtaining any guarantees of our
independence from either NATO or the US.
      SO KRUTY-2 IS NOW JUST A MATTER OF TIME
So Kruty-2 is now just a matter of time, although it looks like Russia will
do it this time without direct aggression.

As for our national heroes and heroines, the situation is truly disgraceful.
Only a gravely ill nation can take pride in such a person as Roksolana,
ascribing to her the virtues that she never had.

Historical facts indicate that when she became the Turkish sultan’s first
lady, she pursued a tough policy exclusively in the interests of the
Ottoman Empire, which did not include Ukraine.

With this in view, it is hard to imagine that a similar Roksolana could be
considered a heroine in, say, Poland or Russia. But this is possible in a
society morally crippled by the Holodomor.

These examples make it absolutely clear why our public opinion almost
unanimously opposes lustration, why the vast majority does not recognize
the right of OUN and UPA combatants to veterans’ benefits, and sees no
sense in Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

The worst thing is that since the death of James Mace there is no one to
properly diagnose our society, let alone cure it.            -30-
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.day.kiev.ua/177128/
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20.  DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE UKRAINIAN GENOCIDE OF
  1932-1933 (HOLODOMOR) NOW AVAILABLE IN DVD FORMAT

Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 2007
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 20
Washington, D.C. Monday, February 19, 2007

TORONTO – The Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation
Centre (UCRDC) is pleased to inform you that the internationally
acclaimed, award winning documentary “Harvest of Despair” is now
available in DVD format in English for $25.00. [Information about the
documentary from the UCRDC website is found below.]

Please contact the UCRDC for further details:

Nadia Skop, Executive Administrator
Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre
620 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2H4
Telephone: 416-966-1819; Fax: 416-966-1820;
E-mail: info@ucrdc.org
—————————————————————————————–
                           HARVEST OF DESPAIR
It is called the forgotten holocaust – a time when Stalin was dumping
millions of tons of wheat on Western markets, while in Ukraine, men,
women, and children were dying of starvation at the rate of 25,000 a
day, 17 human beings a minute.

Seven to ten million people perished in a famine caused not by war or
natural disasters, but by ruthless decree.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this tragedy the Ukrainian Famine
Research Committee (former name of UCRDC) gathered materials, sought

out eye-witnesses and documented this horrific event. Harvest of Despair
is the product of this effort.

The documentary probes the tragic consequences of Ukraine’s struggle for
greater cultural and political autonomy in the 1920s and 1930s.

Through rare archival footage, the results of Stalin’s lethal
countermeasures unfold in harrowing detail. Harvest of Despair examines

why this man-made famine remains so little known.

Blinded by radical leftwing ideals, world statesmen, such as Edouard
Herriot, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and writers such as George
Bernard Shaw, all contributed to the regime’s campaign of concealment.

Even the democratic governments of the depression-hit West preferred to
remain silent over Soviet Russia’s atrocities in order to continue import
and export trade.

In 1932-33, roughly one-quarter of the entire population of Ukraine perished
through brutal starvation. Harvest of Despair, through its stark, haunting
images, provides the eloquent testimony of a lost generation that has been
silenced too long.

The film Harvest of Despair won the awards and honours at the following
festivals:
     1. Houston International Film Festival – April 1985 – Houston, Texas
     2. Strasburg International Film Festival – April 1985
     3. Festival Des Filmes Du Monde – August 1985 – Montreal, Quebec
     4. New York Film Festival – September 1985 – New York City
     5. Columbus International Film Festival – November 1985 – Columbus, 
         Ohio
     6. Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival – October 1985
     7. International Film and T.V. Festival of New York – November 1985
———————————————————————————————–
LINK: http://www.ucrdc.org/

———————————————————————————————–
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21. WHAT THE VERHOVNA RADA ACTUALLY PASSED
     1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine is genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Maidan.org.ua (in Ukrainian), Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006
Action Ukraine Report (AUR) #818, Article 21 (in English)
Washington, D.C., Monday, February 19, 2007

Honoring the memory of millions of fellow countrymen who became
victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine and its consequences;

Honoring all citizens that survived this horrible tragedy in the history of
the Ukrainian people;

Being aware of the moral responsibility to former and future generations of
Ukrainians and recognizing the necessity of restoring historical justice, of
solidifying in society an intolerance towards any form of violence;

Noting that the tragedy of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine officially
was denied by the USSR government over the course of many decades;

Condemning the criminal acts of the USSR totalitarian regime aimed at the
Holodomor’s organization, which resulted in  millions of people, the social
foundations of the Ukrainian people, its age-old traditions, spiritual
culture and ethnic identity being destroyed;

Empathizing with other peoples of the former USSR who sustained losses
as a result of the Holodomor;

Highly valuing the solidarity and support of the international community in
condemning the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine that is reflected in
parliamentary acts of Australia, the Republic of Argentina, Georgia, the
Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Italy, Canada, the Republic of
Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, the United States of America, the
Republic of Hungary, and also in the combined statement circulated as an
official document of the 58th session of the General Assembly of the UN on
the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor-Great Famine of
1932-1933 in Ukraine, signed by the Republic of Argentina, the Republic of
Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of Belarus,
the Republic of Benin, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic
of Guatemala, Georgia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of
Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Canada, the State of Qatar, the Republic
of Kyrgyzia, the State of Kuwait, the Republic of Macedonia, Mongolia, the
Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of
Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab
Republic of Syria, the United States of America, the Republic of Sudan, the
Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Democratic Republic of
Timor-Leste, the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Jamaica, and also
supported by Australia, the State of Israel, the Republic of Serbia and
Montenegro and the 25 member-states of the European Union;

Taking into consideration the Recommendations of parliamentary hearings
concerning honoring the memory of the victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor
approved by the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of March 6,
2003 No. 607-IV and the Appeal to the Ukrainian people of the participants
of a special session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of May 14, 2003,
which was approved by the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
of May 15, 2003 No. 789-IV, in which the Holodomor is recognized as an
act of genocide of the Ukrainian people and as the result of deliberate
actions of a totalitarian, repressive, Stalinist regime aimed at the mass
destruction of a portion of the Ukrainian and other peoples of the former
USSR;

Recognizing the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine in accordance with the
Convention of December 9, 1948 on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide as an intentional act of mass extermination of peoples,
enacts this Law.

Article 1. The 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine is genocide of the Ukrainian
people.

Article 2. Public denial of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine is recognized
as an insult to the memory of millions of victims of the Holodomor and a
humiliation of the dignity of the Ukrainian people and is illegal.

Article 3. State bodies of power and local bodies of self-governance
according to their authority are obligated to:

Take part in the formation and realization of state policies in the areas of
renewing and preserving the national memory of the Ukrainian people;

Facilitate the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, her
historical consciousness and culture, the dissemination of information
about the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine among Ukrainian citizens and
the global community, to ensure study of the tragedy of the Holodomor in
educational institutions of Ukraine;

Take measures to memorialize the memory of victims of the 1932-1933
Holodomor in Ukraine, including building memorials and mounting of
memorial signs to the victims of the Holodomor;

Ensure by the established order access to archived and other materials on
issues that concern the Holodomor to research and civil establishments
and organizations, scholars, individual citizens that research issues of the
1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine and its effects.

Article 4. The State provides the conditions for conducting research and
executing activities related to the memorializing of the memory of the
victims of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine on the basis of relevant
general state programs, the funding of which is allocated yearly in the
State budget of Ukraine.

Article 5. Final provisions
1. This law is in effect from the day of its publication.

2. The Cabinet of Ministers is:
1) To determine the status and functions of the Ukrainian Institute of
National Memory and, as a specially authorized central organ of the
executive branch in the area of the rebirth and preservation of the
national memory of the Ukrainian people,  is to ensure its sustenance
with funds from the State budget.
2) Within a three-month period from the enactment of this Law:
To submit for the Verkhovna Rada’s review proposals for bringing of
the legislation of Ukraine into conformity with this Law;
To bring its own normative-legislative regulations into accordance with
this Law;
To ensure the review and nullification by bodies of executive authority
of any legislation passed by them that contradicts this Law;
3) To resolve by the appointed order, along with the Kyiv City State
Administration, the matter concerning the construction of a Memorial to
the victims of the Holodomors in Ukraine before the 75th anniversaries
of the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine.              -30-
——————————————————————————————-
LINK: http://maidan.org.ua/static/news/2006/1164726292.html
——————————————————————————————-
NOTE:  This material from Maidan.org.ua was translated from
Ukrainian to English by Heather Fernuik exclusively for the Action
Ukraine Report (AUR), Kyiv, Ukraine and Washington, D.C.
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22. UKRAINE: “ON THE CROSSROADS OF CULTURES, INTERESTS
    AND INFLUENCES” – PARTY OF REGIONS DOMINATES CRIMEA

ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: By Viktor Khomenko
Holos Ukrayiny daily, Kiev, Ukraine, in Russian 14 Feb 07, p 3
BBC Monitoring Service, UK, Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Party of Regions dominates the political scene in Crimea, a daily paper
has said. The ruling party has managed to have the Crimean police chief
resign, and the Crimean chief prosecutor was under pressure to resign too.
Both of them fought strongly against the mafia clans operating on the shadow
land market.

The Party of Regions plans to strengthen its grip on all areas of life in
Crimea. There is no credible opposition to the party in Crimea, the paper
concludes.

The following is the text of the article by Viktor Khomenko entitled “On the
crossroads of cultures, interests and influences” published in the Ukrainian
daily Holos Ukrayiny on 14 February. Subheadings are as published:

The autonomous peninsula at present is not hostile to Ukraine, to the state
and statehood, as some people are trying to prove. The mistake of Kiev and
Moscow politicians lies precisely in the fact that they view Crimea from
positions of separatist inclinations.

They do exist, skilfully nurtured by some political forces, not only
Ukrainian ones. But on the whole extremely serious changes have taken place
in the mass awareness of Crimeans.
                                     POLITICAL PURGE
Recent events in Crimea are evidence that control of the political situation
and structures of power here has been fully taken over by the [ruling] Party
of Regions.

Three insistent proposals to tender his resignation and a series of carping
checks at the request of Crimean leaders of the Regionals [Party of Regions]
have forced the Crimean police chief, Volodymyr Khomenko, to give up his
post.

But not at his own request, but owing to the fact that I could not and did
not want to work in such conditions, the police general with a service
record of more than 30 years said.

Although under his leadership the Crimean police, significantly in advance
of other regions (21.3 compared with 13 per cent), led the country in terms
of crime reduction and recently dealt a crushing blow to serious shadow
dealers on the alcohol market.

A police colonel, Anatoliy Mohylyov, was immediately appointed to the job.
For the past 10 years he had headed the Artemivsk and Makiyivka town police
directorates in Donetsk Region [heartland of Party of Regions support].

In the words of the disgraced Khomenko, who is today already a pensioner,
the main reason for pressing law-enforcement personnel out of Crimea is that
without them it will be easier on the peninsula to address questions of land
and property. A new police chief has also started serving in Sevastopol.

It looks as if the same fate awaits the Crimean prosecutor, Volodymyr
Shemchuk, famed for his fruitful struggle against high-profile abuses and
swindling in the area of illegal privatization of land and facilities of the
resort and recreation complex and his principled reaction to all legally
dubious decisions of local authorities, to which Crimean officials are
traditionally generous.

It has already been proposed to him three times to change the geography of
his new appointment. The activity of the prosecutor’s office is being
checked once again by a big commission from the Prosecutor-General’s Office,
which observers believe should also be seen in the context of Party of
Regions control over the political situation in the peninsula.

I think that some political forces still want to have their own’ prosecutor,
Shemchuk warned. And political experts are convinced that the mafia that
controls the shadow land market very much wants to get rid of the Crimean
prosecutor.

Tendencies that are being increasingly clearly seen in new appointments,
political scientists note, are painfully familiar: people loyal to the
country’s ruling circles have to come to replace high-ranking
law-enforcement officers. [Shemchuk’s replacement by Volodymyr Haltsov was
reported on 16 February]

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is expected in Crimea on 22 February,
when he is due to present his new representative in place of Henadiy Moskal.

He [Moskal] was the only counterweight able to control and to a certain
extent even resist the omnipotence of the Regionals. The president’s
representation in the autonomy retains its control functions without its
leader, but for now cannot seriously oppose any contentious acts of the
ruling party.

So in Crimea the Party of Regions is now in full control of political and
economic life on the peninsula, endeavouring to strengthen their positions
even more.

At the last big meeting of the Regionals – deputies of all levels and
representatives of all branches of power – their leader, Vasyl Kyselyov,
said that in regions where the party had two thirds of deputy seats on
councils, a vote of no confidence should be passed in heads of district
state administration and town heads, aiming to get either re-elections or
their replacement.

Recommendations adopted by the meeting define a number of tactical steps for
Crimean Regionals: in particular on the placement of personnel in all bodies
of the executive and local government.

The motivation and arguments are old: the Regionals won the elections,
formed the government and the authorities, and they want full control; in
order to be able be fully responsible to the voters, they want to have all
the levers of influence over the situation.

Apart from that, Kyselyov said, the Regionals are raising the question of
ensuring that there are representatives of their party in every ministry.

They have initiated changes to election legislation – to raise the barrier
for parties to get into councils of all levels from 9 to 12 per cent, and
later will energetically place in power exclusively their own people.

At the same time, assurances are being voiced: The time of authoritarianism
is moving into the past now, giving way to people’s power and a new
constitutional order. We are supporters of dictatorship, but dictatorship of
the law.
                    LAYING OUT A GAME OF PATIENCE
The Party of Regions on the peninsula consists of 41,000 people. Together
with the Russian Bloc party it forms a faction in the Supreme Council
[parliament] of Crimea that amounts to 44 deputies out of 100.

There is no real opposition to the Regionals in Crimea. Even the
[propresidential] Our Ukraine bloc, represented in the Crimean parliament by
the Rukh-Kurultay faction, cooperates with them, while the YTB [opposition
Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc] is too weak and therefore is not displaying serious
activity.

Even the 18,000-strong Serhiy Kunitsyn Bloc, which shared second place in
the elections to the Crimean parliament, is not really opposing the
Regionals.

All the other political forces, in particular, the communists, socialists
and social democrats support the Party of Regions and, playing second
fiddle, are frightened that even the powers that they still have will be
wrested from them.

A noticeable trend is the steady reduction in the ranks of political
parties: often even by half. After the elections, all parties without
exception that failed in the battle for the electorate suffered tangible
losses.

The People’s Party of the former head of parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn,
dropped by half, and now consists of 15,000 people. The same reduction
befell the socialists of [speaker] Oleksandr Moroz, of whom 13,000 remain

on the peninsula.

The social democrats, with until recently 28,000 people in its ranks, is
steadily melting away. The majority of defectors find themselves in
organizations of the ruling party, where the migrants are offered official
posts.

So the Regionals, in spite of their own almost 20 per cent drop in rating,
as sociologists show, are still not exhausting their credit of trust and,
seizing the moment, are raising all branches of power under themselves on
the peninsula. Only Our Ukraine people remain stable, without a reduction in
their 15,000-strong ranks.

There is a discernible growth in the influence of the radical wing of the
Majlis [Crimean Tatar unofficial parliament], which soon may be exerting a
real influence on the political situation on the peninsula.

Obviously everything will depend on how the spring elections to the Majlis
turn out, and it is planned to hold a Kurultay [consultative meeting] in
autumn.

The position of the Crimean Tatars will depend on how strong the radical
wing in the Majlis becomes. Another important factor is the radical
pro-Russian forces.

The more moderate of them are represented in power and, collaborating with
the Kremlin, which is not now interested in any destabilization on the
peninsula, are sitting quietly.

Another section of the pro-Russian groups, oriented to more radical forces
in Russia, is less influential, since they do not have state support from
there and are not represented in the local authorities.
                  TENDENCIES OF THE PARTY PALETTE
Increasing interest of political parties in Crimea is a visible phenomenon
of recent years. The present bursts of such interest were noticed before the
presidential and parliamentary elections, since they were conducted on a
purely party basis.

Virtually all the numerous political parties of Ukraine – 125 altogether –
are now registered on the peninsula. About 15 have succeeded in obtaining
genuine political residence permits in Crimea. The ones that have electoral
support can conventionally be divided into three groups.

First of all, there are parties of a pro-Russian orientation that are making
use of the electoral moods of the Russian-speaking section of the Crimean
population, and first and foremost ethnic Russians. Since the peninsula is
the only part of Ukraine where the number of ethnic Russians comprises the
majority.

If we remember its very difficult history, back in the times of the Russian
Empire and the USSR and the transfer of Crimea, almost unpopulated after the
deportation [of the Tatars], into the composition of the Ukrainian SSR in
1954 from the composition of the Russian Federation, then the root of the
problem will become perfectly understandable.

It should be borne in mind here that purely pro-Russian parties of a radical
type, which at the beginning of the 90s raised the question of transferring
Crimea into the composition of Russia, no longer enjoy the support of the
majority of Crimeans, since people already understand perfectly well the
realities of contemporary Ukrainian politics: Crimea is an inalienable part
of Ukraine as an autonomy.

The fact that such parties, while recognizing the fact, are skilfully
transforming their political world view, campaigning for the maintenance and
strengthening of the status of the Russian language and culture on the
peninsula is another matter.

More pragmatic parties receive considerable support in the autonomy. It is
no accident that the parties Russian Bloc and Russian Party, which existed
previously, joined a bloc with the Party of Regions and formed the election
bloc For [Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych, which gained a majority at the
last elections.

But at the same time, parties that also preach the idea of Crimean
regionalism and local patriotism, but occupy more balanced positions at this
level also enjoy a fair amount of trust.

This is the PDP [People’s Democratic Party], which did not get into the
Ukrainian Supreme Council, although Serhiy Kunitsyn [former Crimean Prime
Minister] created an eponymous bloc based on the DPU [Democratic Party of
Ukraine] and the PDP.

The Communist Party and the Crimean regional organization of the CPU
[Communist Party of Ukraine] under the leadership of Leonid Hrach form the
left-wing spectrum of the party palette, which is slowly but surely losing
voters. It is represented by eight deputies in the Supreme Council of
Crimea.

Of the right-wing parties [Former Foreign Minister] Borys Tarasyuk’s
People’s Movement of Ukraine [PMU – Rukh] is operating most successfully
with the Crimean electorate.

But only because the Crimean Tatars do not have their own political party,
and are implementing their electoral intentions within the framework of the
party. That is why the PMU also gained 7 per cent support at the last
elections and has eight deputies in the Crimean Supreme Council. But
basically, they are Crimean Tatars.

They are actively using the Crimean Tatar nationalist idea of the
self-defence of their people. In a certain sense the YTB has electoral
sympathies.

Nonetheless, one can speak about stable support for this wing of the
Ukrainian polity not so much according to party as to personality features.
That is everything that is growing on the Crimean field.

Statistics show that 47 Ukrainian political parties obtained support at the
last elections, including parties that were part of associations and blocs.
The rest could not even be taken seriously. This confirms the fact that
Crimea continues to retain the position of a specific region of Ukraine with
special electoral moods.
                                PARADOXICAL FACE
The paradoxical nature of the Crimean situation lies in the unregulated
status of the territory in Ukrainian legislation and the constitution.

Although the existence of the Crimean autonomy is enshrined in the
Constitution of Ukraine and recognized by the world community, in practice
the central leadership and the polity are still irritated by the existence
of the autonomy in a unitary state. They have a fairly distrustful attitude
to it, considering it to be a source of separatism, and this allergy is
long-standing.

Quite a few important matters in relations between Kiev and the peninsula
have not been regulated to this day. This irks many Crimeans and is a source
of permanent dissatisfaction with Kiev.

For example, it is only recently that laws were passed on the status of
deputies in the autonomy and the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic
of Crimea, while there is still no law on the Council of Ministers of the
autonomy.

There is also a lack of legislative acts that would delineate more clearly
the question of the property of the autonomy and of the centre. The autonomy
does not have the right to legislative initiative, and therefore it still
exists in a declarative way.

In many cases this leads to the excesses that exist in Crimea, in particular
in the area of land. Because instead of law, what is operating is big money,
a shadow market and certain clans, among which the most active are the
Donetsk, Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk clans.

The majority of the tasty morsels have already been bought up. Constant
wide-scale chaotic building has been going on for years, because of which
Crimea has already lost many attractive places that could have become major
investment projects.

In connection with this, foreign investors are unwilling to come, not
trusting the situation on the peninsula.

This is also the reason for the intensification of activity of the Crimean
Tatars who, having returned to their homeland in droves from their places of
deportation, have remained outside the transparent distribution of land and
are trying to tackle the problem not always by means of the law.  -30-

————————————————————————————————
[return to index] [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
========================================================
23. UKRAINE’S FOREIGN POLICY AT THE BEGINNING
                                 OF THE 21ST CENTURY

ADDRESS: By H.E. Dr. Ihor Ostash
Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Published by e-POSHTA, Politics and Business Edition
Vol. 8, No. 12, Canada, Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured to be invited to address such a distinguished audience
gathered here at one of the leading Canadian Universities. I would like to
thank the Chair of the Ukrainian Studies Professor Dominique Arel for
organizing this event.

In order to describe the nature of Ukraine’s foreign policy at the beginning
of the 21st century we should go back to the events of the winter of 2004,
which are now known all over the world as the Orange Revolution.

The Ukrainian people, by defending — by peaceful means — their freedoms
and standing up against massive fraud of the first two tours of the
Presidential elections of 2004, proved to be Europeans not only by
geographic location, but also by their values and the determination to
protect them. They have shown that as Europeans they deserve their place
in the united Europe.

It is well-known that the concept of European and Euro-Atlantic integration
has been a keystone of the Ukrainian foreign policy doctrine for many years.

However, an honest evaluation of the real progress on Ukraine’s move towards
the EU and NATO membership by the end of Leonid Kuchma’s tenure shows
that any mentioning of Ukraine’s integration into the EU and NATO caused
among Western politicians nothing but irritation and a “fatigue syndrome”.

Before the Orange Revolution, Ukraine’s image abroad was tainted by a
discredited and corrupt political leadership incapable of forgoing foreign
policy ambiguity and ensuring a consistency in the implementation of
strategic tasks.

The undemocratic nature of the Kuchma regime lead to the de-facto
international isolation of Ukraine and kept at bay any real prospect of
joining Western institutions.

Cardinal changes that took place in our country over the past two years that
secured Ukraine’s development on the democratic path have also shaped the
course of Ukraine’s foreign policy.

It is based on the mainstream civilizational choice of the Ukrainian people
to live in a democratic, law-abiding and fair society homogenous with other
European countries.

Ukrainians believe that building a respected, prosperous and democratic
Ukraine is inseparable from Ukraine’s joining the family of the united
Europe.

However, instead of endlessly repeating the mantra of Ukraine’s European
and Euro-Atlantic integration, which in the past decade found little
response from our European and NATO counterparts, Ukraine is proving
its political choice by actions.

Ukraine is becoming a regional leader, a proponent of democratic values
and freedoms, a country that is able to clearly define its foreign policy
priorities and back them up with a trustworthy agenda and actions.

In sum, the period after the Orange Revolution is the time when Ukraine is
elaborating its own sustainable, consistent and independent foreign policy.

As you may know, with the Parliamentary elections of March 26, 2006

(which have been recognized as democratic by all observers) the provisions
of political reform entered into force which modified the distribution of
powers in Ukraine.

The Government is headed by Prime-Minister Victor Yanukovych, the
leader of the Party of Regions and the former competitor of President
Victor Yuschenko at the Presidential elections of 2004.

While the President and the Prime Minister represent political forces that
are at opposite ends of the spectrum, it is important to underline that the
direction of Ukraine’s foreign policy remains unchanged.

1. CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS AND LAWS

DEFINING UKRAINE’S FOREIGN PRIORITIES
To prove that, let’s begin with a brief overview of the distribution of
constitutional powers in Ukraine with respect to determining and carrying
out the foreign policy, as well as the key laws that outline its main
priorities.

According to the Constitution of Ukraine (Art. 106), the President of
Ukraine directs the foreign policy of Ukraine, represents Ukraine on the
international arena, appoints and discharges Ambassadors, submits to the
Parliament petition for appointment of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Ukraine.

The President has the right to veto Parliament’s bills and to enjoin the
execution of the Cabinet of Minister’s decrees if they violate the
Constitution. Also, the President has the power to issue decrees that have
the force of a law.

The Parliament (Art. 85) adopts the laws that determine the main principles
of domestic and foreign policy, approves the work program of the Cabinet of
Ministers, upon submission of respective petition by the President appoints
the Prime-Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and in the like manner
discharges them, ratifies international treaties.

The Cabinet of Ministers (Art. 116) executes the foreign policy and
coordinates the work of various Ministries.

As we see, the main power is vested in the President of Ukraine, who charts
the course and exercises the direction of Ukraine’s foreign policy, in
accordance with the laws passed by the Parliament, and the Cabinet of
Ministers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deal with the practical
implementation of foreign policy.

On August 3, 2006 after a week-long roundtable discussion chaired by
President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko the leaders of four political
forces — the Party of Regions, Our Ukraine, the Socialists, and the
Communists signed the Declaration on National Unity.

This document addressed a number of the most critical issues in Ukrainian
politics, especially regarding foreign affairs.

First of all, the Declaration confirmed that the course of the Ukrainian
foreign policy aimed at integration to the European Union and strengthening
its international authority is irreversible and immutable. In this light,
the parties agreed to adhere to the “Ukraine — EU” Action Plan and to begin
immediate negotiations regarding the creation of a free trade area between
Ukraine and the European Union.

The document proposed a sensible political compromise on Ukraine-NATO
relations: continuing “mutually beneficial cooperation” for now, in
accordance with the “Law on National Security of Ukraine”, and deferring the
issue of membership until some later date, subject to a national referendum.

The Declaration on National Unity has established a tradition of national
and public dialogue for resolving problems that Ukraine has inherited from
the past or acquired today.

Thus, the President initiated to conduct the second national round table,
which is scheduled for February 22-25, 2007, and will involve such political
leaders as the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, the Prime-minister of
Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich and the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (the
Parliament) of Ukraine Olexander Moroz, as well as public leaders, artists,
and journalists etc. Its participants have to formulate a 2007 action plan
based on the Declaration on National Unity.

Meanwhile, I would like to stress that Ukraine’s foreign policy priorities
are established by law and are contained in such documents as the Act of the
Verkhovna Rada (the Parliament) on the main directions of Ukraine’s foreign
policy passed in 1993, the Law of Ukraine on the main principles of the
national security adopted in 2003, as well as Ukraine’s Defence Doctrine
adopted in 2004.

As to our strategic priorities established by these laws, they include
European and Euro-Atlantic integration with the goal of attaining a
full-fledged membership in NATO and the EU, accession to the World
Trade Organization, which we expect to achieve in 2007.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Prime-Minister V.
Yanukovych invited WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy to come to Ukraine
for the signing of the agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the WTO this
year.

Our main priorities also include the development of friendly and mutually
beneficial relations with all countries, first and foremost our neighboring
states, such as Russia and Poland, as well as strategic partners of our
country, such as Canada and the United States.

Ukraine pursues the goal of promoting European values in its region, in
particular through active participation in the resolution of frozen
conflicts.

Ukraine conducts active multilateral policy in the framework of global and
regional organizations, such as the United Nations and the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We consider our participation in
these organizations an important factor of deepening and broadening regional
as well as global stability and security in Europe.

One of the main foreign policy priorities is the economic expansion of
Ukrainian goods and services both on the conventional and the new markets
in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

And, of course, one of the most important aspects of Ukraine’s foreign
policy is protecting Ukrainian citizens abroad and safeguarding the rights
of the Ukrainian Diaspora , which will remain a constant priority of the
foreign policy of Ukraine and the sphere of particular attention of
Ukrainian diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

We are working successfully with many countries on legalizing the status of
Ukrainian migrant workers, signing agreements on temporary employment,
promoting the opening of Ukrainian schools, television stations and
newspapers abroad.

President V. Yuschenko has issued a Decree adopting the National concept of
cooperation with overseas Ukrainians. There is a special Department at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for the relations with overseas
Ukrainians.

These priorities, including European and Euro-Atlantic integration, are the
backbone of Ukraine’s foreign policy. This is the position of the President,
the Government and the Parliament of Ukraine. This is our strategic course
that has no alternative.

I will go in some more detail over a few of these priorities.

2. EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
As I mentioned, one of the key goals of Ukraine’s foreign policy is becoming
a full-fledged member of the European Union. This is a key priority,
realization of which includes the whole complex of efforts both inside the
country and beyond its borders. They are aimed at moving Ukraine closer to
the EU and creating preconditions necessary for future accession to the EU.

I believe that this is indeed a two-way street, where both Ukraine and the
EU will benefit from Ukraine’s membership. Ukrainians belong in the united
Europe due to their history, culture, as well as system of values and
beliefs in democracy and the rule of law, as was proven by the events of the
Orange revolution. Our country is a contributor to global and regional peace
and security.

Ukraine is essential for the energy security of Europe, given thousands of
kilometres of oil and gas pipelines that deliver energy to all Europeans.

Furthermore, a democratic and stable Ukraine integrated into the European
and Euro-Atlantic structures is the best guarantee of good-neighbourly
relations between Ukraine, the European Union and the Russian Federation.

And, as those European nations hosting many Ukrainian labour migrants have
learned, the Ukrainian people are honest and hard-working. Everybody knows
the boxers Vitaly and Volodymyr Klychko, soccer player Andriy Schevchenko,
pop-singer Ruslana or chess world champion Ruslan Ponomariov.

I am confident that my compatriots will make a solid contribution to the
development of a united Europe. As former Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk
aptly put it, “Ukraine is coming back to Europe not with a bag of problems,
but with a basket of proposals”.

And Europeans see Ukraine as part of Europe. According to latest polls
conducted in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Great Britain and Poland only
34% respondents stated that they are not ready to see Ukraine in the EU, but
the overwhelming majority expressed support of our membership (Poland and
Spain — 65%, Italy — 59%, France — 56%, Great Britain — 47%, Germany —
44%).

Ukraine’s relations with the EU have become truly dynamic. Yesterday the
delegation of the EU Troyka headed by Foreign Minister F.Steimeyer of
Germany — country that presides in the EU in the first half of 2007 — met
in Kyiv with President Yuschenko, Prime-Minister Yanukovych and Acting
Foreign Minister V.Ohryzko.

Ukraine and the EU began negotiations about the new, enhanced agreement. The
present Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation expires in the beginning of
2008, and we are ready to make the next step on the road to EU membership.
We stand for concluding an agreement with the EU on the principles of
political association and economic integration.

Ukraine in partnership with the EU is an active contributor to peace and
security on the European continent. Our country has been taking part in the
Police Mission of the EU in Boznia and Herzegovina, is cooperating with the
EU in the settlement of the Transdniestria conflict and with the EU mission
on the Ukraine-Moldova border.

In 2006, our country has joined 511 of the 554 EU resolutions on regional
and international issues, which shows the high level of political
association of Ukraine with the EU and the commonality of our principles and
values. Last year there were 135 expert visits between EU and Ukraine, which
is one third higher than the year before.

The European Union is the biggest trading partner of Ukraine. Its share in
Ukraine’s trading balance for the period of 10 months of 2006 has been
31,2%, which is 21,3% higher than for the same period of 2005. About 75%
of direct foreign investments into Ukraine’s economy come from the EU.

Accordingly, our goal is to establish a free-trade zone with the EU. Formal
negotiations on this issue are to begin after Ukraine’s accession to the
WTO.

At the Ukraine-EU summit in October, 2006 we have completed negotiations
on easing the visa regime and readmission, and initialed respective drafts
of agreements. We expect to sign them in 2007.

3. EURO-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION
Another key priority of Ukraine’s foreign policy is the Euro-Atlantic
integration , aimed at gradual full-fledged membership in NATO.

Due to certain circumstances this issue has been highly politicized in
Ukraine. At the same time, the strategic course of Ukraine towards NATO
membership is written in the Ukrainian laws, and it is supported by the
leadership of our country. Any differences of vision are related to the
tactical aspects of Euro-Atlantic integration.

In terms of public support, the majority of the Ukrainians consider that the
society doesn’t have enough information about NATO to make a deliberate
decision whether Ukraine should or shouldn’t become a member.

Specifically, according to the results of the poll conducted recently by the
company “FOM-Ukraine” (translated as “Fund of Public Opinion”) 62.2% of
Ukrainians say that they lack information about NATO. In general, 45.4% of
Ukrainians don’t support the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, 38.6% support
the accession and 16.1% are undecided.

At the same time, the poll showed that if the referendum took place in the
near future, 59.9% would vote against Ukraine joining NATO, 16.9% would
support this idea and 8.4% are undecided. But 28.8% of respondents noted
that they could change their attitude towards NATO if they received more
information about this organization, 46.9% wouldn’t change their opinion and
24.3% didn’t give an answer.

On January 26, 2007 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,
Prime-Minister V. Yanukovych emphasized that the current budget is the first
one since Ukraine’s independence that provides funds for educating the
public about NATO.

In his view, such policy “will develop positive perception” of NATO by the
Ukrainian society and “facilitate the process of Euro-Atlantic integration
of Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is developing practical cooperation with the Alliance in
the framework of the Intensified Dialogue, and in the hope of receiving an
invitation to the Membership Action Plan in the near future.

As an example of such cooperation, the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine
Action Plan for 2006 involved over 50 ministries and governmental
organizations of Ukraine. There has been created a special National System
of Coordination of Ukraine’s Cooperation with NATO.

Speaking of practical examples of such cooperation, I can mention, for
instance, the utilization of old ammunition. Ukrainians are thankful to the
Canadian Government for participating in this project.

NATO is also providing assistance in the development of science and
computerization of Ukrainian universities, civil training of decommissioned
officers. In December of 2006 the President of Ukraine issued a decree
authorizing the participation of Ukrainian Navy in the anti-terrorist
operation “Active Endeavour” in the Mediterranean Sea.

And the latest example, which shows not only the effectiveness of
Ukraine-NATO relations but also the strength of the partnership between
Ukraine and Canada, is the decision of President Victor Yuschenko to send 10
Ukrainian peacekeepers to Afghanistan, who will be there contributing to the
fight against terrorism shoulder to shoulder with their Canadian colleagues.

We consider NATO as a stabilizing factor in the world, and Ukraine is an
integral part of the European security system. Ukraine’s place is in Europe,
and it will continue moving on the path towards integration into European
and Euro-Atlantic structures.

4. MULTILATERAL AND REGIONAL INITIATIVES
Touching briefly on Ukraine’s multilateral and regional initiatives, I
should mention Ukraine’s participation in the settlement of the
Transdniestria conflict.

In 2006, the settlement process followed the plan elaborated by President
V. Yuschenko, that provided measures for conducting negotiations,
demilitarizing the region and promoting democratic transformations. Ukraine
is actively working in partnership with the OSCE on the peaceful resolution
of this conflict.

In the context of regional and multilateral initiatives we should also
mention the union of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova (GUAM),
which in May of 2006 was transformed into an international Organization for
Democracy and Economic Development — GUAM with the headquarters in
Kyiv.

Another success story is the establishment by nine East European countries
have established in Kyiv in December 2005 the union called Community of
Democratic Choice, whose aim is to promote democracy and human rights
in the Baltic-Black-Caspian sea region.

As a token of recognition of Ukraine’s reputation in the field of human
rights, I am proud to say that in 2006 Ukraine was elected to the newly
created UN Human Rights Council.

[Recognition Of Holodomor As Act Of Genocide Against Ukrainian People]
Speaking of our work in the framework of the UN, one of our significant
tasks is the universal recognition of the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine as
an act of genocide against Ukrainian people.

Recently the Ukrainian Parliament passed the law recognizing as genocide
this one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, that took
lives of between 7 and 10 million people, almost a quarter of Ukraine’s
population.

Recognition of Holodomor as genocide is important not only for Ukraine, but
for preventing such horrors from ever happening in the future in any part of
the world.

We are thankful to the Senate of Canada for adopting on June 19, 2003 a
motion introduced by Senator Raynell Andreychuk calling on the Government
of Canada to recognize the famine — Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine as
genocide.

Ukraine is planning to submit to the UN General Assembly a draft of the
respective resolution, and hope that on the 75th Anniversary of this tragedy
it will be adopted by the international community.

5. RELATIONS WITH STRATEGIC PARTNERS
As I said earlier, our course towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration
goes in parallel with developing friendly and mutually beneficial relations
with our partners and neighbours.

Our biggest neighbor and one of our biggest partners is Russia. As Prime
Minister Yanukovych emphasized, in developing our relations “Ukraine, like
our Russian partners, proceed, first and foremost, from our own national
interests”.

However, Ukraine’s pragmatism in pursuing its national interests in
relations with Russia must not be mistaken for a desire to complicate these
relations. In fact, it is just the opposite.

The Presidents of the two countries direct the Governments, politicians and
societies of Ukraine and Russia at reaching constructive solutions of all
issues that we inherited from the past.

Maintaining and developing good-neighbourly relations with the Russian
Federation is one of the main priorities of Ukraine’s foreign policy. As
Russian President Putin said, cooperation between Ukraine and Russia “is
developing in the highly dynamically and effectively, and is an example of
reliability in the long-term perspective”.

On December 22, 2006 Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a working
visit to Ukraine. During this visit there was the first meeting of the
Intergovernmental Commission presided by the Presidents of Ukraine and
Russia.

In the words of President Yuschenko, this is a “qualitatively new mechanism
of relations between Ukraine and Russia”, that provides for biannual
meetings between the leaders of the two countries. The next meeting is
planned for May or beginning of June of 2007.

Ukraine and Russia are working constructively on resolving such complicated
bilateral matters as delimitation and demarcation of borders, the issue of
the Kerch Straight, regulating the issues around the temporary dislocation
of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the territory of Ukraine, formation of the
free trade area.

Until the next Intergovernmental Commission meeting the parties agreed to
elaborate the text of the declaration on strategic partnership between
Ukraine and Russia which will set out strategic positions of the two
countries on the key issues.

A principal factor in Ukraine-Russia relations is energy cooperation.
Ukraine’s delegation to this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos offered
suggestions to join the efforts of Russia and the European Union aimed at
increasing the supplies of energy carriers to Europe, among other things, by
modernizing Ukrainian oil and gas pipelines.

Our goal is to build reliable relations with our partners to ensure the
level of energy security that will guarantee effective functioning of the
economies of all states.

Commenting in Davos on the issue of Ukraine’s dependency upon Russia in
terms of energy supplies, Prime Minister Yanukovych stated that Kyiv looks
at this matter from the vantage point of partnership relations with Russia.

The Head of Government added that Ukraine is studying the possibilities of
diversifying its energy supplies, namely, lowering the supplies from Russia,
extending the output in Ukraine and importing energy carriers from other
areas, primarily from the countries of the Caspian region.

Speaking of Ukraine’s strategic partners I must mention the United States,
which has been a consistent supporter of democratic transformations in
Ukraine since the dawn of our independence.

The year 2006 was marked by such events as ending the application of the
Jackson-Vanik amendment, removing trade sanctions on Ukrainian goods,
recognizing Ukraine as a market economy country, renewing the benefits under
the Generalized System of Preferences, signing of bilateral market access
protocol within the framework of the WTO, considerably increasing U.S.
financial assistance for democratic and economic reforms in Ukraine and for
the Chornobyl Shelter project.

The U.S. is one of the biggest investors in Ukraine’s economy (over 1.3
billion dollars) and one of the biggest donors of financial assistance
(almost 3 billion dollars). Our countries are closely cooperating in the
fight against terrorism, resolution of frozen conflicts, preventing
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating organized crime
and illegal migration.

At the end of my speech I would like to say a few words about Ukraine’s
relations with Canada.

6. UKRAINE-CANADA RELATIONS
Canada occupies a special place in the heart of every Ukrainian. Our
countries share close historical and family ties, as well as common values
and beliefs, such as freedom, democracy, rule of law.

Four waves of Ukrainian immigration have created one of the biggest
communities in Canada, which, according to Statistics Canada, amounts to
almost 1.2 million people. For over two centuries the Ukrainian language is
spoken in the Canadian prairies, in Alberta oil rigs, in federal and
provincial legislatures and ministries, in hockey stadiums and university
classrooms.

An outstanding son of the Ukrainian land, the Right Honourable Ramon
Hnatyshyn from 1990 to 1995 was the Governor-General of Canada.

15 years ago Canada was the first Western country that on December 2, 1991
recognized Ukraine’s independence, on the day following the historical
December 1, 1991 Referendum where 90.3% Ukrainians voted for
independence of their land. The political courage and vision of the Canadian
leadership that voiced its support of Ukraine’s independence will always be
remembered.

As a token of appreciation, on December 04, 2006 President Victor Yuschenko
awarded the Order of Kniaz (King) Yaroslav the Wise to the Right Honourable
Brian Mulroney “for his defining personal role in Canada’s recognition of
the independence of Ukraine, and considerable contribution in the
development of Ukrainian-Canadian relations”.

A few days ago, on January 27, 2007 we celebrated the 15th Anniversary of
establishing diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Canada.

On March 31, 1994 Ukraine and Canada signed the Joint Declaration on Special
Partnership, which was adapted to the new realities of the 21st century in
the Joint Declaration on Continuing Development of the Special Partnership
between Ukraine and Canada which was signed in Kyiv on December 5, 2001.

Most importantly, these are not just declarations, they are the reflection
of the true nature of special partnership relations that our two nations are
privileged to enjoy.

We appreciate Canada’s consistent support of Ukraine in such crucial areas
as helping us cope with the consequences of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster,
providing financial assistance in excess of 66 million Canadian dollars as
well as playing a leading role in the G-8 addressing this issue.

Canada has always backed our accession to NATO, as well as has been a
proponent of Ukraine’s accession to the WTO. Our countries signed the
bilateral market access protocol in 2002, and we appreciate the work of
Canadian Sergio Marchi as the Chair of the WTO Working Group on Ukraine’s
accession.

We truly appreciate Canada’s technical assistance to Ukraine and the work of
the Canadian International Development Agency, as well as our cooperation
under the Military Training Assistance Program.

Recently, Canada’s outspoken position and the largest observer mission have
been critical during the days of the Orange Revolution. Canadian Ambassador
to Ukraine His Excellency Andrew Robinson organized his colleagues from the
Western missions on monitoring the Presidential elections in 2004.

Canada sent the largest observer mission, including 500 members and 500
volunteers, headed by former Prime-Minister the Right Honourable John
Turner.

Among the leaders of the observer mission were the present Chair of the
Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group (which, by the way, includes
over 150 Members of Parliament) Peter Goldring, M.P., and Vice Chair Borys
Wrzesnewskyj.

There are many examples of partnership ties between Ukraine and Canada.
They include peacekeeping, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
particularly within the framework of the Global Partnership, destruction and
prohibition of land mines under the Ottawa convention, protection of human
rights and advocating the ideals of freedom and democracy.

I am confident that Ukraine and Canada will remain true partners on the
international arena, and close and friendly relations between our countries
will only strengthen with time, and I see this as my primary task in my
capacity as Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada.

7. CONCLUSION
In conclusion, I would like to stress that Ukraine is open for dialogue and
cooperation on mutually beneficial terms with all countries. Our country
will continue to be an active, responsible and promising partner.

This is the task given to the Ukrainian Foreign Service by President Victor
Yuschenko who, according to his Constitutional powers, directs the foreign
policy of Ukraine.

The President has confirmed the irrevocability and consistency of Ukraine’s
foreign policy course, and it is the duty of the Government, the Foreign
Ministry and Diplomatic Missions of Ukraine abroad, one of which I have
the honour to lead, to implement the course charted by the President and
established in Ukrainian laws.

Thank you for your attention.
———————————————————————————————
NOTE: This address published by e-POSHTA, Politics and Business
Edition, Vol. 8, No. 12, Canada, Sunday, February 18, 2007,
Editor-in-Chief: Myroslava Oleksiuk, myroslava@rogers.com
———————————————————————————————-

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       Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
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return to index [Action Ukraine Report (AUR) Monitoring Service]
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